Sunday, April 1, 2018

April Fool's Battle of the Bands




April Fools!


This battle is no joke! I have thought about this battle all month long (maybe even longer). I’ve had some ideas come to mind. Researched them for viability as a decent battle.  I kept coming back to today’s song choice.   Then, early last week, I woke up with a completely different idea.  It was a pretty good one, too - except that by day two of letting the idea marinate, I didn’t care for it as much.


When I think of April Fools, I think of Jokers and Jesters. Pranks. Magic.

And that is how I came up with today’s battle.

I know at least one of you were expecting to see Tiny Tim make an appearance on the blog today.  Here is that appearance.



But Tiny Tim is not in today’s battle (sorry, not sorry)



The song for today’s battle is
"Black Magic Woman”

Wikipedia tells us this about the song:
"Black Magic Woman" is a song written by Peter Green that first appeared as a Fleetwood Mac single in various countries in 1968, subsequently appearing on the 1969 Fleetwood Mac compilation albums English Rose (US) and The Pious Bird of Good Omen (UK), as well as Vintage Years. In 1970, it became a hit by Santana, as sung by Gregg Rolie, reaching No. 4 in the US and Canadian charts, after appearing on their Abraxas album. In 2005 the song was covered by ex-Thin Lizzy guitarist Snowy White on his album The Way It Is.

I had considered using Fleetwood Mac against Santana, but after listening to FM’s version, I knew it would be a shutout. There is no contest there. In my humble opinion,  Santana blows FM out of the water.  And because Santana is so good, I can’t in good conscience use him in the battle - again there is no contest about who would win.

So I did some digging. I’ve come up with three viable contenders. Please LISTEN TO ALL THREE prior to casting your vote. I implore you to not let the videos persuade your vote.


Contender #1 - Janice Hagen



Contender #2 - James Hodgkin



Contender #3 - Gary Hoey





Now that you’ve listened to all three, please cast your vote for either Janice Hagen, James Hodgkin, or Gary Hoey in the comments below.  I’ll keep the voting open until 3pm EST Sunday, April 8 with results posted on Monday, April 9. 

There are no right or wrong votes, only those who do not cast a vote are the wrong votes.  You do not need to be familiar with the artist or the song to have an opinion on which version you prefer. 



I’d like to encourage you to visit the other bloggers participating in the battle of the bands as well. We’ve put a lot of time and effort into putting together these battles and they are a lot of fun. Each blogger has a different battle taking place. You can find a current list on Stephen’s blog (you can also request to join the battle of the bands blog hop on his blog). 






93 comments:

  1. Hey I think I'm your first commenter! This is a cool battle Mary. I've always liked "Black Magic Woman" and although I do like Fleetwood Mac's version, you are absolutely right: Santana blows FM out of the water on the song. I think you made a smart decision not to pair those two: it likely would've been a blowout.

    I am not at all familiar with any of the artists you chose for your battle. Of the two male versions, Man, Gary Hoey kicks ass! I didn't know anything about him so I checked out Wikipedia and was surprised to learn that he has recorded 20 albums and has had 5 Top-20 Billboard hits! He's quite the guitarist and I'll definitely check into him a bit more. I really liked his version of Black Magic Woman.

    But my vote is going to Janice Hagen for this one. As soon as the song started, I was captivated. The music is fantastic -- that piano just knocks me out! And that bass -- is that cello, I think? -- killer! There's some of it that sounds like Pink Panther theme music. Janice has a very sensual voice too. All around her version is incredibly rich and delicious! I love it! I'll definitely be checking her stuff out too. I did actually do a quick YouTube search and heard her cover of "Whatever Lola Wants" -- it's great...and the video is quite, umm, steamy...

    Great battle! There ain't no April Fool here; this is some good shit... :)
    Happy Easter my friend.

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Hey Michele!

      Sure hope your day is turning out to better than it was yesterday. Your own 'April Fools' post had me going! Sure glad that I could introduce you to some new artists.

      Here's hoping your surgery goes well tomorrow. Will be thinking of you.

      ~Mary

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  2. Fantastic battle, Mary! ☺ Although Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac is my favourite incarnation of that band, you're absolutely right about Santana. He would have run away with it! Love the diversity of the contenders here. James Hodgkin didn't do much for me, so it's between the sultry, jazzy Janice Hagen and the smokin', psychedelic guitarist Gary Hoey. Normally, the latter would be my preference, but Janice's vocals give me chills and the arrangement is so languid and sexy. She gets my vote!

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    1. Thanks, Debbie!

      Hey, guess what?1? I've got another post coming out in a few hours. I decided at the last minute to do the A to Z - MY WAY. (apologies to Lee - and Sinatra)

      I think this battle is turning out pretty well so far. Thanks for stopping by!

      ~Mary

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  3. MMQE ~
    First of all, the "appearance" of Tiny Tim literally made me Laugh-Out-Loud. Funny stuffs! Thank you. (BTW, our recent conversation about Tiny & The Cute One led me to look into some Tiny Trivia, where I discovered that recently a book -- which got a lot of top grade reviews -- about Tiny Tim's life was published. Even though I already know a good amount about "The Least Likely Success Story In History", I'll still probably learn a lot of great stuffs from that book about my Tiny hero! It's due in my mailbox any day now.)

    Yip! Using the massive hit version of 'Black Magic Woman' by Santana against ANY OTHER COVER would have been beggin' for a shutout. Good decision.

    I really enjoyed the music in Janice Hagen's version. But let's face it, the song has strong sexual undertones -- maybe even overtones -- and it just doesn't work sung by a woman... unless one wants to think of it as a lesbian love affair. And I don't.

    So, that left James Hodgkin and [link> Gary HOEY (Who He?).

    Well, listening to Hodgkin, right away I felt like I was listening to a cover band at The Meat Market Bar & Grill on 6th Street -- no cover charge and no two-drink minimum. It's Tuesday Ladies Night and he had that back-of-room echo chamber sound going on. It was a little hard to hear him over all the chattering drinkers. Plus, I was preoccupied by that woman with the dark eyes and too-black hair sitting by herself at the end of the bar with the little umbrella in her drink. I caught her 3 or 4 times looking at me, but she quickly looked away each time our eyes met. As soon as Hodgkin starts to play Creedence Clearwater's 'PROUD MARY', I'm going to ask her to dance, and of course she's going to say, "No", for the sake of that #FakeHardToGet facade.

    Give my vote to HOEY (Who He?) He's one of my favorite living guitarists (the dude has chops!)

    I actually used Gary Hoey ages ago in BOTB. I put him up against WAR on their mega-hit 'Low Rider'. WAR won, of course, buy Hoey turned some heads and gave a good account of himself.

    HAPPY 'HE IS RISEN' DAY, MARY!!

    ~ D-FensDogG
    STMcC Presents 'Battle Of The Bands'

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    1. Happy chocolate Bunny day!

      Thanks for the indoctrination of Hoey. I honestly had no idea who he was - other than he was mentioned in Wiki for his cover. I tossed Hodgkin in the mix simply because he seemed a little bit interesting. I didn't mention in my post, but Hodgkin apparently did all of the parts and instruments for the song and then mixed - much like Dave Grohl did with his first album. I fear Hodgkin may not fare well in this battle, but you never know how these non-readers will vote.

      Thanks for stopping by on this Easter Fools day.

      ~MMQE

      ps... I was supposed to ask you about Tiny Tim and the Mr Ed Fan club.

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    2. The Mr. Ed Fan Club???

      Sure, I'll try some of whatever it is you're drinking. Thanks!

      ~ D-FensDogG
      STMcC Presents 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS'

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    3. Apparently Tiny Tim was a huge fan of Mr Ed. Who knew?

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    4. Hmmm... I didn't.
      I thought it was the other way around. That Mr. Ed was a huge fan of Tiny Tim.

      "The world may never know."

      ~ D-FensDogG
      STMcC Presents 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS'

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    5. Perhaps there was mutual admiration...

      ~MMQE

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  4. Though not horrible by any means--and Hoey's version was interesting--the latter 2 versions somewhat annoyed me. Maybe it's my mood for now. I preferred the relaxing take by Janice Hagen.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out (A)

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    1. Hi Lee!

      I definitely think current mood plays a role on votes. I was originally going to just use Janice and James, but after listening to Gary Hoey, I thought he was bringing yet another point of view on the song. Janice does do a very pleasing rendition. Thanks for stopping by! I've got another post going out in a few hours as unofficial A to Z.

      ~Mary

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  5. Mary,

    Good thing you didn't put Santana up against FM. I appreciated the introduction of three new artists. It was an easy pick for me. My ear was better suited for the sound of Contender #1 both vocally and mewsic arrangement. Please give my vote to Janice Hagen. Thanks for stopping by yesterday to vote in my early edition of BoTB!

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    1. Hi Cathy!

      Good to see you again here. Janice sure seems to be doing quite well in the battle so far. I think it will be interesting to see how it all shakes out. Best of luck to you on the A to Z Challenge!

      ~Mary

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  6. I can't fairly choose as my speakers are blown. As for Fleetwood Mac and Santana they cannot be compared as they are each excellent in their own rite. I love both version because I loved Fleetwood Mac's version first

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    1. Hey there Gladys

      Neither Santana nor Fleetwood Mac are contenders in this battle. Hopefully you'll have a chance to listen to the other contenders before the battle is over.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      ~Mary

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  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. >>...This is a great post. I really love how you laid everything out for us to see and enjoy. Thanks :)

      And this is a great example of a shitty comment. Pull yourself together child and post a DECENT comment.

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    2. who on EARTH do you think you are calling a child? You are beyond rude! I have left you a better comment simply because Ana asked me to do so here, but you do not deserve it. My instinct was to take away my comment altogether. In future I certainly shall not be helping you out in any way shape or form. I can only imagine you have nothing better to do with your time than be horrible to people on social media.

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    3. Only Horrible to those who can't be bothered to post relevant comments. I pity you for trying to comment for the sake of commenting without even reading what the post was about. It's not as though I put a bunch of words together hoping they would form a sentence.

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    4. I absolutely CANNOT believe someone would berate their own readers like this. This is the type of blogger I am absolutely ashamed to call a colleague.

      Be thankful for ANY engagement.

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    5. >>...I absolutely CANNOT believe someone would berate their own readers like this.

      Reader? This was not a reader. This was someone who was commenting for the sake of commenting. They didn't bother to read the post. I wonder how they would feel if people commented on their posts without bothering to read their posts first. If this is the type of behavior you endorse - I have to wonder about your own blogging abilities.

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  8. Oh no, I think I might be late for the voting, but my favourite was the James Hodgkin version!

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    1. Hello Emily!

      No, you are not late in voting. Battle closes on Sunday, April 8. Thanks for the vote!

      ~Mary

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  9. I love the music of the bands you featured here and I think I would cast my vote to Hagen in no. 1. The sing just blew my mind, it's very captivating melody.

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    1. Thanks Norbis!

      Appreciate you stopping by.

      ~Mary

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  10. This is one of my favorite songs! I had to go in after I decided which of the above three I liked best-to listen to Fm and Santana! OK--although I loved the jazz in Janet Hagen's version--I definitely liked James Hodgkin's version best

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    1. Thanks Miki

      I think all three contenders offer something just a little different from each other. James is doing pretty well, and that kind of surprises me.

      ~Mary

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  11. I am voting for Gary Hoey! I enjoyed this post. This battle is certainly an epic one. Sharing this to my friends and will ask them to cast their votes too.

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    1. Thanks so much for the vote, and for sharing the post with your friends. Much appreciated!

      ~Mary

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  12. I listened to all 3 and I choose the 2nd one becaus he seemed more clear although I prefer the original the best. The guia5e solo was excellent I; the last video but am going to my Firstchoice with is my pick. The last one just so second ..dirty to me although the the guitar playing is great.

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    1. Thanks, Birgit!

      If I'm understanding your vote correctly, you are voting for James Hodgkin. Thanks for stopping in!

      ~Mary

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  13. As disconcerting as it was to hear a woman singing about her "Black Magic Woman," it was the one I liked the best here, so I vote for Janice Hagen here. There was something about James Hodgkin's cover that madfe it sound like a garage band, and Gary Hoey's backing it with a metal background was just wrong.

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    1. Thanks, John!

      I think she did an amazing job on the song.

      ~Mary

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  14. This is a tough one. I would have to go with James Hodgkin though. It just got me today that's all!

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    1. Thanks, M Akamatra!

      It's all about how the music makes you feel. Appreciate you stopping by.

      ~Mary

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  15. I am voting for James Hodgkin's version. I really enjoyed that one the most.

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    1. Hi Clare!

      Another vote for Mr Hodgkin. This battle is really heating up!

      ~Mary

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  16. It would have to be Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac for me but only because I know him and his songs well so I maybe biased

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    1. Sadly for you, Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac is NOT a contender in this battle. It's great that you know him and all, but perhaps you might want to read the post to vote for someone who is actually competing hmmm?

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  17. Well, they are all great. This is really a tough one. But I will go for the rocky version from Gary!

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    1. Thanks, Zehra!

      Gary thanks you as well for helping him stay in the race :)

      ~Mary

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  18. I have to say Iblike Janice Hagen’s Version of the song the best! It was my favorite of all the vocals.

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    1. Thanks, Kristy!

      The battle is really heating up. Can't wait to see the final results!

      ~Mary

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  19. This is such a great battle. I have never seen or been part of one of these before, so exciting :) I love Black Magic Woman and that is who my vote is going to. Such wonderful memories of this song from my University days, so it wins hands down. All of the contenders are great though.

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    1. Hmmm...

      All of the contenders are Black Magic Woman. So basically, you've giving a non-vote. Again. At least you have left a better comment this time. No need to get your knickers any further in a knot.

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  20. Always LOVE listening to new music, and this was such a creative way to get music out there! HAPPY APRIL and SPRING to you :)

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    1. Hi Noelle!

      New music is always fun - although I wouldn't really say that CLASSIC Rock is new...

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  21. There's pretty much no doubt that Janice Hagen wins this one. I think the two others are awesome as well I just prefer her version of the song.

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  22. Omg!! I am so not from that time period but I love love Black Magic Woman. I’ll definitely be voting, if I remember hahahaha.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Tiffany. Hope you make it back to cast a vote :)

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  23. I had never heard the different versions of this song before. What a fun battle!

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    1. Thanks! You know what would make a really fun battle? A vote...

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  24. Totally different generation here but loved listening to different versions - Adriana

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    1. Adriana

      You don't have to be of a specific generation to have a preference. Music lasts forever.

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  25. From these three my favorite one has to be Huey. I like the rock version that sounds the most different and more my style.

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  26. I'm only hearing of the battle of the bands now but it does sound fun now that everyone seems to be voting! Anyway, all the best to the winner!

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    1. Hi Dalene!

      We do battle of the bands twice a month. It's a fun bloghop. I don't see your vote though...

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    2. I'd vote for James Hodgkin's. No doubt that many are loving his version too.

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    3. Thanks for coming back for the vote, Dalene

      Much appreciated :)

      ~Mary

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  27. I absolutely love this song and had no idea there were so many different versions! Hoey wins in my opinion! Can't beat Santana though

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    1. Hi Cristina!

      I agree, Santana is unbeatable in this battle. That's why I couldn't in good conscience have him as a contender. Thanks for stopping by!

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  28. I would have chosen Santana's version, too. But since he's not in the running, I'd choose James' version instead. :)

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  29. Happy bealted Easter. What a line up, it is always hard to choose your battle of the bands line up. I must confess i like them all.

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    1. Awww Lindsey.

      The battles are a lot of fun, but learning which of the contenders everyone prefers and why makes it that much better. No one judges you for your choice, unless it's a non-choice.

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  30. Replies
    1. It is a great song. Do you have a favorite of the contenders?

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  31. The battle looks great, the contestants are very interesting! I have never heard of any (can you imagine that) before so it was a bit educational to me as well

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    1. Hi Lyosha

      One does not need to be familiar with a song or artist to be able to state which of the contenders they prefer.

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  32. Ahhhhh I think I am too late for the voting, but I love Black Magic Woman!

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    1. Hi Jordan!

      Not too late for voting. Voting closes on Sunday April 8. So there is still time to come cast your vote :)

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  33. I like the first style of the song "Black Magic Woman" the best. Janice Hagen's voice is smooth and jazzy.

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    1. Hi Cleverly!

      Janice's voice is what drew me in as well. But then again, I also like the rock sound that Gary uses too.

      ~Mary

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  34. These are all very interesting and sooo good!

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    1. Thank you Miljana. Would you like to tell me which version you prefered? there is still plenty of time :)

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  35. For me I'd choose James because of the relaxed and chill version of the song.

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    1. Hi Amanda

      James does do an interesting take on the song. Thanks for stopping in to vote.

      ~Mary

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  36. I find this concept quite new for me, and its cool!

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    1. Hi Blair!

      It is pretty cool, isn't it? You know what would be really cool? If you would tell me which one you liked best. That would be awesome.

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  37. Janice gets my vote! AND I adore Tiny Tim. Ha! Such classic songs came from him. Good luck to all contenders! ;)

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    1. Hi Jennifer!

      Tiny Tim is a great classic. Don't tell Stephen this, but I actually used to really get a kick out of watching Tiny Tim back in the day. Now I just get a kick out of teasing Stephen about liking him. Thanks for stopping in to cast your vote :)

      ~Mary

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  38. This battle is really fun - great post! I've loved Fleetwood Mac since I was a teenager (Rumors would be one of the ten - yes, I'm that old: records! - I'd take with me to a deserted island), but didn't know that the song was by them, only know the Santana-version.

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    1. Rumors is one of my top ten favorites as well. Dreams scores high on my personal chart. Peter Green was lead singer of Fleetwood Mac years prior to the line-up that we know it as. He is the one who wrote this song. While I'm happy he wrote the song, I prefer Santana's version over his.

      Thanks for stopping in.

      ~Mary

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  39. Everybody has their own taste when it comes to music. I guess I have never been a huge Santana fan when it comes to music. I know why people like him. He just doesn't do it for me. I probably would like the Fleetwood Mac version better. As far as these three bands, I would go with Janice Hagen's version of Black Magic Woman.

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    1. Hi David!

      You are correct, everyone has their own taste. I think that's one of the elements of these battles that I enjoy - seeing what everyone prefers. Appreciate you stopping in to vote :)

      ~Mary

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  40. I'm a bit new to your blog (a reader of only three months) and absolutely love your monthly Battle of the Bands! I did just as you instructed and listened to each song without watching the video. Hands down, the winner was Janice Hagen's version. Maybe it's because my husband and I have spent far too much time in blues bars, but the mellow sounds of the 70's always puts me in a peaceful place. xx

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    1. Hi Alison!

      The battles are a lot of fun. Classic Rock is pretty much my go-to sound when I need a good pick me up. I enjoy all of it from the soft rock to the heavier sounds. Just depends upon my mood. Thanks for stopping in with a vote for Janice.

      ~Mary

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  41. Gary Hoey's rock guitar fest version for me. Easy choice again - had to be a male voice for me and the minimalist approach doesn't work for me, so Gary. In truth I wasn't keen on any of them really. Flettwood Mac and Santana rule this song.

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    1. Thanks, Wozza!

      Appreciate the vote. Sometimes there isn't much to work with, so we do what we can with what we have.

      ~Mary

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  42. I can see why you said to ignore the videos! My favorite is the third one by Gary Hoey because I love the guitar sound!

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